'We will not hide the synagogues in Germany'

Rabbi Eliezer Noy, CEO of Torah MiTzion in Germany, tells Arutz Sheva how the Jewish community deals with anti-Semitism.

Nitsan Keidar,

Rabbi Eliezer Noy and his wife in Berlin
Rabbi Eliezer Noy and his wife in Berlin

Rabbi Eliezer Noy, CEO of Torah MiTzion in Germany, responded to the shooting attack in the city of Halle and said that anti-Semitism has become part of the Jewish routine in Germany.

"The Jews in Germany are between a rock and a hard place. After we received the report about the terror attack in Halle, there were discussions about whether the perpetrator would turn out to be a neo-Nazi or a Muslim. Most members of the Jewish communities are fighting the extreme right, who, despite fighting Muslim immigration, are not lovers of Israel," Rabbi Noy told Arutz Sheva.

He recalled the initial moments in which he found out about the attack in Halle. "We held a special minyan for students in Berlin and there is always local security and police security there. Even before we received the news, many police forces arrived and deployed outside the synagogue.”

"The German police are taking it seriously, but the German way of dealing with the problem is doing it only after and not before [an attack occurs]. We told the crowd [what had happened] and added a few chapters of Psalms praying specifically for the recovery of the wounded and for the soul of the murdered, even though we didn't really know the full picture. It's not something that created panic,” said Rabbi Noy.

"Unfortunately," he added, "sort of like in Israel, when there’s a rocket attack in Sderot and Tel Aviv continues as usual, here too Berlin is far from Halle. People continue to act as usual, only we need to add more security. We do not allow those forces that try to prevent Jewish activity to achieve their goal."

The attack against the Jewish community in Halle did not surprise the Jews of Berlin, said Rabbi Noy. "This attack did not come as a surprise to us. We are aware of the neo-Nazi forces that exist on the ground. The anti-Semitism is part of the concerned Jewish discourse in Berlin.”

However, despite the attack, the plans for Sukkot and Simchat Torah have not been halted. "We continue as usual. I head the ‘Morasha’ organization in Germany and have a variety of sukkah-related activities in 16 locations across the country. We take our precautions."

"For example, when we have an event we will never specify where it takes place. People need to sign up, we do a check and then get back to them. That's part of the complex reality we live in."

"We do not intend to hide our synagogues or activities, and we demand that Germany fight the anti-Semitism that raises its head and, in particular, emphasize the educational aspect to prevent it," concluded Rabbi Noy.